Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the decision to organise Aero India amid Covid pandemic and security challenges along northern borders was "not easy", as the 3-day event, dubbed as Asia’s largest military aviation exhibition, will kickstart in the city on February 3.
Crediting the country’s soldiers unrelenting spirit along the borders for stabilisation of the situation, he said, India thereby showed its resolve to defend its sovereignty and integrity.
“The decision to organise Aero India in these testing times forced by the twin challenges of the Covid pandemic and also the security challenges thrust up on us along the northern borders was not easy,” Singh said.
Speaking at the curtain raiser event of Aero India, he said he has no hesitation in saying the country’s robust stand, immediate and celebrated response and unrelenting spirit of the soldiers on the borders led to stabilisation of the situation.
“We showed our resolve to defend the sovereignty and integrity of our country,” he said, adding the resolve of the govt led by the PM to put the country back on the path of revival combined with hard work of officials and other stakeholders besides Karnataka government’s support has made it possible to organise Aero India 2021.
Meanwhile, the US’s defence ties and cooperation with India will continue to deepen under President Biden-led administration, a top US official said.
Rs48,000-crore Tejas aircraft deal to be signed on Wednesday
The government is set to formally seal on Wednesday (February 3) the Rs48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force, officials said on Tuesday.
The mega contract will be signed at the Aero India air show in Bengaluru in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, top brass of the IAF and senior officials of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), they said.
Tejas is a single engine and highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter capable of operating in high-threat air environments.